Monday, March 28, 2011


The FX insanity of SuckerPunch wasn't my only movie entertainment this weekend. It was just the most expensive bit.

I killed a few hours on Sunday watching one of two DVDs I picked up: Detective Dee and the Mysetery of the Phantom Flame (aka Di Renjie).

The other movie, Ip Man crapped out in my DVD player so I need to figure some other way to view it.

Anyway... Detective Dee.

Back in 600-something A.D., China got their first female ruler: Empress Wu Zetian. History isn't especially kind when describing her. Apparently she had to be a bit of a hard-ass to keep people in line and respectful of her authority.

Go figure.

So anyway, it's about 8 years into Empress Wu's reign. She's working on a proper ceremony to have herself crowned. She's building this huge statue of Buddah as a symbol of Heaven's blessing on her rule.

And then suddenly some people involved in the construction spontaneously combust.

The only way to figure out who is behind the plot is for the Empress to get the honored Detective Di Renjie out of prison. Why was he in prison? Well, apparently about six years back, the good detective rebelled against her rule.

It's an interesting story. Detective Dee is a mix of Sherlock Holmes and Jet Li (although the character is played by Andy Lau). There's lots of wire-fu. There's some interesting side-characters, including an albino policeman and the Empress' right-hand woman who is handy with a whip (Director Tsui Hark has no fetish issues there...).

The story didn't go where I expected, though I figured out who the bad guy was in about ten seconds and was very disappointed to find out I was right. Still, the fight scenes were fairly awesome. It was all good times.

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